Sony Corp., the world's second- largest consumer electronics maker, said it took out an 80 billion yen ($698 million) syndicated loan last week, its first bank borrowing in 10 years, to diversify funding sources.
The three-year floating-rate loan, which came from more than 20 Japanese lenders, pays 4 basis points more than the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, for six-month yen borrowings, said Mizuho Financial Group Inc., the loan arranger. The six-month yen Libor was last quoted at 0.44750 percent.
Sony tapped the country's expanding syndicated loan market as it offered a cheaper source of cash at a time when investors in corporate debt are demanding higher yields before an expected rise in Japanese interest rates this year. The fund-raising, which ended up bigger than initially planned, offered more flexibility than bonds, said Shinichi Tobe, Sony's spokesman.